Revitalizing a church: Pleasant Grove

2/18/2011

With an average Sunday morning worship attendance of about 150, Pleasant Grove UMC is not a large church.  However, that hasn’t stopped them from actively serving Christ.  1 Peter 4:10 says, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”  The people of Pleasant Grove UMC in Dalton are using their gifts to serve their neighbors in a variety of creative ways. 

In the past six months, they have:
·  Taken children to visit Rose Wood Nursing Home
·  Held a special service to bless teachers, children and college students as they returned to school
·  Partnered with an area school to send home sack lunches each Friday with needy children so they would have something to eat over the weekend.
·  Installed new visitors parking signs
·  Started a new women’s Bible study
·  Developed a team of greeters to welcome people to the church on Sundays
·  Started a “Run for God” running class that teaches how faith in God is like running a race
·  Collected layettes for a local hospital to give away to new mothers who don’t have clothes to take their babies home in.
·  Bought new equipment for the church’s children and youth groups to use.
·  Designed a T-shirt for church members to wear as a witness to their faith and affiliation with the church.
·  Made a suggestion box to solicit ideas for new ministries from the congregation

What sparked Pleasant Grove’s desire to be more outwardly focused and service minded?

It all started last spring when then pastor, Rev. Ray Camp, working with District Superintendent Mike Cavin, invited Connectional Ministries to help Pleasant Grove consider how they could revitalize the church. 

The congregation said that the enthusiasm for serving God from the Connectional Ministries staff was contagious and they quickly came up with a multitude of potential ministries.

Then they formed a team to spur the church on to begin many of the projects as the mantle of pastoral leadership was handed to new pastor, Rev. Chris Mullis. 

When Connectional Ministries returned to Pleasant Grove for a follow up visit, they found the church actively involved in many new ministries and eagerly seeking God’s vision to move the church to the next stage of being the hands and feet of Christ in the community. 

“I’m glad Connectional Ministries came to us,” said Mullis. “It was very helpful.  I sense we are moving in the right direction, serving people better, and making a difference in our world because of Connectional Ministries’ help."


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